Cisco's Catalyst line of modular and fixed switches offers performance and control at the access, aggregation, and backbone areas of converged IP voice, video, and high bandwidth data networks for businesses that range in size from small businesses and branch offices to global enterprises and service providers. Progent's Cisco-certified CCIE consultants can provide online and onsite support for Catalyst switches to assist you to plan a cost-effective network architecture that addresses your specific business needs, set up proof-of-concept testing systems, deploy Catalyst switches, implement and verify a sound security and compliance plan, streamline system management and monitoring, deliver troubleshooting and support services, maximize switch performance, and set up Catalyst's fault-tolerant solutions for non-stop operation,
Progent can help you to maintain and repair your older Catalyst switches or upgrade with minimal disruption to the latest models of Catalyst switches following leading practices to make sure that you receive the most business value from your investment in your network.
The demand for intelligent, high-performance switching is driven by a combination of fairly recent networking patterns whose net effect is a cyber tsunami of data traffic:
- Cloud computing and an associated demand for massive network virtualization
- The pervasiveness of BYOD computing
- Bandwidth-intensive rich media apps
- Social media for business
- The rise of Big Data in data analytics
Cloud computing is only financially feasible by utilizing virtualization on a massive scale. Virtualized data centers slash costs by allowing aggressively high resource utilization and demanding minimal data center space and energy consumption. But this also means that relatively sparse resources must support substantial volumes of data. The Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) paradigm has resulted in a steep rise in the number of mobile clients that have be supported by business networks, and these clients tend to run a high percentage of bandwidth-intensive, HD video apps. Social business technologies are replacing email as the main enabler of collaboration and is producing a growing thirst for data. Enterprises who are trying to remain competitive are resorting to Big Data technology to mine enormous and varied silos of information, which as a result generates Big Network Traffic. These computing trends are relatively new, and combined they create a critical demand for an advanced generation of switches that offer much higher performance, intelligence, availability and manageability than previous platforms were built to deliver.
Cisco's latest portfolio of Catalyst switches are ideal for the distribution/core layers of campus deployments where mobile and stationary workers must be supported with predictable high speed, secure user access control, tight segregation, application awareness, and wired/wireless convergence. Cisco's Catalyst series switches address the need for speed and intelligence with features such as high-density 10, 40, and 100 Gigabit Ethernet services, switching throughput of up to 11 Tbps for each switch and twice that for each system, a powerful collection of tools such as Easy Virtual Network to simplify the deployment of VLANs, Virtual Switching System technology for stateful failover with subsecond virtual switch recovery and 99.999% availability, IPv6 support, AVC to optimize network resource usage, and advanced Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities for video traffic control.
Cisco Offers Catalyst Switches for Businesses of All Sizes
Cisco Catalyst switches allow businesses of all sizes to build intelligent switching services into their network infrastructure, deploying an environment that can handle current requirements, scale to support future capacity demands, protect sensitive data, and separate and control processes to optimize network operations.
Catalyst 2960 Series Switches and Catalyst 3560-CX Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-CX is a fixed-port managed switch that is compact, fanless, low power, and allows flexible mounting options. The Catalyst 2960-CX incorporates eight 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports and two 1-GE uplinks and has an option for Power over Ethernet. Cisco's Catalyst 3560-CX is a fixed-port switch housed in a compact, noiseless and energy-efficient enclosure that can be placed virtually anywhere convenient. Models are offered with eight or 12 1-GE ports or with 6 1-GE ports plus 2 multigigabit Ethernet ports. Up to four uplink ports are offered, and PoE+ power is also available.
Cisco's Catalyst 2960-L line includes entry-level fixed-configuration managed switches intended for branch offices, retail venues, and other environments where space is limited. Catalyst 2900-L low-profile appliances have 8 to 48 Gigabit Ethernet ports and two or four SFP uplink ports. PoE support saves space and fan-free design for most models eliminates noise. RJ-45 connectors handle 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T and 1000BASE-T SFP-ports.
Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series switches enhance the 2690-S line by delivering switching performance of 216 Gbps and supporting Cisco's FlexStack-Plus stacking technology by means of a hot-swappable plug-in that can combine 8 Catalyst switches in a FlexStack Plus stack capable of 80 Gbps of stacking performance. Cisco Catalyst 2900 family switches also work with NetFlow-Lite for flow-based traffic monitoring. Cisco's Catalyst 2960-XR Series switch features L3 dynamic routing, offering the simplicity of having a single device for Layer 2 and Layer 3 routing.
Catalyst 3650 and 3850 Switches
Catalyst 3650 and Catalyst 3850 series switches are fixed-configuration, stackable access switches based on Cisco's IOS XE control software and incorporating full wireless network controller capability that lets you converge wired and wireless networks on a single platform powered by one OS. Cisco has versions with either 24 or 48 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports with PoE+, four 1GE or four 10-GB Ethernet uplinks, and support for as many as nine Catalyst switches in a stack. All models provide modular QoS, stateful switchover for maximum uptime, software support for IPv4 and IPv6 routing, multicast, and enhanced security.
Because wireless traffic is present at the Catalyst 3000 Series switch, network managers can identify and assign priorities to wireless data with Cisco's FNF solution along with advanced Quality of Service features for an improved user environment and quicker problem isolation. Multigigabit Ethernet switching can handle the high-bandwidth defined by the latest 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless specification using existing cabling solutions. (For information about Progent's consulting and support services for Cisco's 802.11ac Aironet wireless technology, and Meraki cloud-managed access points, visit Configuration and Troubleshooting Consulting Services for Cisco Wireless Technology.)
The Cisco Catalyst 3650 offers stacking performance of up to 160 Gbps and supports up to 25 wireless access points and 1000 Wi-Fi clients on each switch. The Catalyst 3850 offers stacking performance of 480 Gbps and can control as many as 50 wireless APs and 2000 wireless users on each switch. Catalyst 3850 SFP Fiber Switches have 12 or 24 1G fiber data ports at line rate on every port, providing long distance connections, enhanced protection, and a consistent wired and wireless experience.
Catalyst 4500-E and Cisco Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-E Series and and Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are intended for campus and distribution deployments where physical space for infrastructure equipment is at a premium. Running Cisco's IOS XE software, the Catalyst 4500-E and Catalyst 4500-X families simplify virtualization by supporting Cisco's EVN and Virtual Switching System (VSS) technologies. Network virtualization allows you to divide a physical network into multiple virtual networks (VNs) whose data and control planes are logically separate. This provides the economy, security and compliance, recoverability, and simplified management needed for Cloud environments or other scenarios where a common resource pool is shared by software and services that need to operate in complete isolation from each other. Easy Virtual Network streamlines the process of deploying virtual networks and can be expanded to 32 VNs for each switch. Easy Virtual Network incorporates the capabilities of Multi-virtual routing and forwarding and adds additional features such as VNET Tags and an easy technique for duplicating replicating routes between virtual networks. Virtual Switching System makes it easy to set up Catalyst 4500-E and 4500-X Series switches to produce non-stop VNs with optimized traffic load balancing.
Cisco Catalyst 4500E Series Switches
Cisco's Supervisor Engine for for the Catalyst 4500-E modular switch includes an integrated wireless controller that supports Cisco's Unified Access solution for wired and wireless convergence. The Supervisor Engine 8-E is the first Cisco Catalyst supervisor to allow wired plus wireless services on a single switch powered by Cisco's IOS XE. Technologies include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for capacity planning encompassing wired and Wi-Fi networks, TrustSec wired/wireless data security, consistent Quality of Service for wired and Wi-Fi clients, plus the expansion of Nonstop Forwarding with Stateful Switchover (NSF/SSO) to include wireless traffic for enterprise-quality availability.
Offered in chassis with from three to 10 slots, Cisco Catalyst 4500-E Series switches can support up to 384 1-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, up to 192 Gigabit Ethernet fiber fiber ports, 96 10GE fiber ports, and eight 10GE uplinks. The Catalyst 4500-E Supervisor Engine 8-E delivers as much as 928 Gbps of wired throughput per system and 20 Gbps of wireless termination performance. 50 Wi-Fi APs and 2000 Wi-Fi clients can be supported on each switch, and 250 wireless access points and 4000 clients are supported in a dual-switch installation without requiring a standalone wireless network controller.
Catalyst 4500-X Series Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 4500-X Series switches are fixed 10GE aggregation switches that can provide 800 Gbps of backplane switching performance per chassis. The Catalyst 4500-X switch can have as many as 32 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections on the unit's baseboard and eight more 10GE ports on the expansion module for a maximum of up to 40 non-blocking 10GE ports. Eight 10-Gigabit Ethernet uplinks can be added via a separate module. In addition to offering zero-downtime performance and simple manageability, Cisco's virtual switching system technology on Catalyst 4500-X Series switches offers increased system throughput of up to 1.6 Tbps by enabling all possible capacity across redundant Catalyst 4500-X Series switches. Additional features include Cisco's Flexible NetFlow solution for traffic analysis, Cisco TrustSec security, and fast, hardware-based IPv6 forwarding.
Catalyst 6500 and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Switches
Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 Series switches are enterprise campus backbone platforms that incorporate the field-proven DNA of the Catalyst 6500 family of switches, which were introduced over a dozen years ago and have been steadily improved since then. Catalyst 6500 Series and Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series switches offer the same features and operation, and the modular Catalyst 6807-XL switch accepts the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T and its extensive family of line cards and service modules. This backwards compatibility and program of ongoing improvement protects your technology expenditures and enables you to upgrade your network with minimal downtime or IT staff training.
Shared attributes of Cisco Catalyst 6500 and Catalyst 6800 modular switches equipped with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T include the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) for convenient, centralized control to ensure consistent policy across a distributed network, VSS technology for maximum uptime via multi-level redundancy, and Cisco's Campus Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP) to support client roaming and mobility and to streamline network virtualization and migration to IPv6. Additional virtual networking tools to partition distinct user groups and support the special security/compliance and Quality of Service policy requirements of each group include L2/L3 VPN, complete Multiprotocol Label Switching, Easy Virtual Network, VPN Routing and Forwarding-aware technology for Network Address Translation (NAT) NetFlow, IPv6 over IPv4 GRE Tunnels, and Layer 2 extensions with virtual private LAN services (VPLS). For unified wired/wireless networking, the Wireless Services Module 2 (WiSM2) controller Catalyst 6500 Series and Catalyst 6800 modular switches supports up to 1000 wireless APs and 15,000 wireless users.
Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series Switches
The Cisco Catalyst 6500-E Series of modular switches are intended for aggregation and enterprise backbone networks that require world-class availability and high densities of 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 1 Gigabit Ethernet fiber, and/or 10 and 40 GE access ports. Available versions have three to 13 expansion slots and work with a broad selection of interfaces. Integrated service modules support wireless management, network monitoring, and security and compliance. Just E-Series models of Cisco's broad line of Catalyst 6500 switches work with Cisco's Supervisor Engine 2T.
The Cisco Catalyst 6503-E has a 4RU chassis, includes 3 expansion slots, and offers up to 180 Gbps of switching performance per slot. The Catalyst 6503-E can support 97 10/100/1000 Ethernet access ports, up to 99 1GE fiber ports, up to 34 10-Gigabit Ethernet ports, and 8 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.
The top-of-the-line Cisco Catalyst 6513-E has a 19 rack unit, 13-slot form factor and offers 180 Gbps of performance per slot, providing a total system bandwidth as high as 4 Tbps. A VSS configured system can handle 8 Tbps of switching throughout. The Cisco Catalyst 6513-E Series switch offers up to 529 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, up to 534 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connections, 180 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports, and up to 44 40GE connections.
Cisco Catalyst 6800 Switches
Cisco's Catalyst 6800 switches are programmable core platforms designed to deliver best-of-breed 10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet services. The Catalyst 6880-X switch is a fixed-configuration, compact device for Ethernet aggregation intended for small or medium-size campus backbones. The 6880-X switch delivers up to 2 Tbps performance and has four slots for plug-in port cards. The maximum port density on one chassis is 80 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10GE access ports or up to 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports. Configured with Cisco's Virtual Switching System, these switches can provide 4 Tbps performance and handle up to 158 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections or 10-Gigabit Ethernet access ports or as many as 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet access ports.
The modular Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL switch comes in a 10-rack-unit chassis with 7 slots and accepts existing Supervisor Engine 2T cards and service modules. (Two slots are for the Supervisor Engine and five are for expansion modules.) The Cisco Catalyst 6807-XL can deliver up to 880 Gbps of switching capacity on each slot and a total of 11.4 Tbps of full-duplex switching throughput while handling up to 240 1 Gigabit Ethernet ports or 1GE fiber connections, up to 80 10GE connections or 20 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports. A two-chassis 6807-XL system with Cisco's Virtual Switching System can handle 22.8 Tbps of switching performance, 480 1 Gigabit Ethernet connections or 1GE fiber connections, 160 10-Gigabit Ethernet connections or 40 40-Gigabit Ethernet ports.
Legacy Catalyst Switches Still Supported by Progent's Consultants
Progent's Cisco CCIE-certified consultants have extensive backgrounds delivering online and on-premises support expertise for early-generation Catalyst switches for which Cisco has announced End of Life or End of Support. These outdated Catalyst switches often cost more to manage and maintain than contemporary products, provide less capacity and functionality, and in some cases may expose businesses to regulatory compliance and liability issues. Progent's consultants are available to assist you to maintain and repair these legacy Cisco products and can also help you to design and execute non-disruptive migrations to newer products from the Catalyst line or to solutions from the Cisco Nexus portfolio of network switches which take advantage of Catalyst design experience. Older Catalyst models for which support is available from Progent include:
Cisco Catalyst Express 500 and 520 Line
Cisco's Catalyst Express 500 family of managed Ethernet switches are designed for businesses with up to 250 employees and provide the dependability, protection, scalability, and feature set small and mid-sized businesses require at an affordable cost. PoE support makes it easy to add network appliances like wireless access points and IP TV cameras.
Versions of the Cisco Catalyst Express 500 managed switches support from 8 to 24 10/100/1000BT Ethernet ports plus optional redundant power with automatic fail-over for additional reliability. Interoperation with Cisco wireless access points helps businesses to set up a wireless LAN environment rapidly and easily. The Catalyst Express 500 and 520 family provides solid security against viruses With the Cisco Self-Defending Network technology and Cisco Clean Access solutions.
Cisco Catalyst 2940 Switch
Catalyst 2900 fixed-configuration, managed 10/100 Ethernet switches offer fundamental workgroup connectivity for small to midsize businesses (SMBs). These wire-rate desktop switches offer IOS Software features for simple data, video, and voice services at the network edge. The Cisco Catalyst 2940 family of fixed-configuration switches are compact, entry-level switches with eight Ethernet ports and one integrated Fast or Gigabit Ethernet uplink. The enclosures can be deployed away from the wiring cabinet in cramped office spaces such as on or under a worker's desk or in a classroom.
Catalyst 2960-S Series Switch
The Cisco Catalyst 2960-S Series are fixed-configuration switches designed for small companies and branch offices. Available models incorporate 24 or 48 1Gb Ethernet ports, four 1-Gigabit or two 10-Gigabit uplink ports, and deliver throughput of 176 Gbps. Cisco's FlexStack feature permits four Catalyst 2960-S switches to be grouped in a stack to perform like one switching unit that offers 40 Gbps of stacking performance and that reduces operational expense because of one-switch configuration. Cisco's IPv6 First Hop Security (FHS) technology guards against IPv6 address theft and malicious attacks.
Catalyst 3560 Series Switches
The Catalyst 3560 Series is a line of fixed-configuration switches that includes IEEE 802.3af and Cisco PoE capability in Fast Ethernet and 10/100/1000 implementations. Cisco's Catalyst 3560 switch is a proven Layer 2 switch for midsize business LAN access or satellite-offices, offering both Gigabit and Power over Ethernet (PoE) configurations for high efficiency while streamlining the deployment of vital technology such a IP telephony, wireless connectivity, video monitoring, and building management systems. Customers can activate comprehensive smart features such as quality of service, rate limiting, ACLs, multicast management, and broadband IP routing while maintaining the ease of conventional network switching.
The Catalyst 3560 switch is equipped with a powerful set of features that permit network expandability and higher availability via IP routing as well as a full suite of STP improvements aimed to increase availability in a Layer 2 network. Enhancements to the standard STP Protocol, including Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus (PVST+), Uplink Fast, and Port Fast, as well as innovations such as Flex Links interfaces, contribute to network efficiency. Per-VLAN Spanning Tree Plus supports Data Link Layer load sharing on backup links to exploit the additional capacity associated with a redundant architecture.
Efficient routing mechanisms including Open Shortest Path First (OPSF), Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP), BGP, static routing, and PBR increase network scale; Protocol Independent Multicast helps improve the efficiency of system resource use; and VRFLite protects network traffic.
Catalyst 3750 Family Switches
For midsized businesses and corporate branch offices, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 switch eases deployment of converged technologies and adapts to changing competitive environments by providing setup flexibility, support for converged network patterns, and management-free set up of smart network functions. In addition, the Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series is designed for high-density Gigabit Ethernet environments and incorporates a diverse selection of switches that meet the access, distribution, and backbone-connectivity requirements of small or midsized networks.
The Cisco Catalyst 3750 Series has either the IP Base or the Services image. The IP Base image capabilities include industry-leading quality of service (QoS), rate-limiting, access control lists, and basic static and Routing Information Protocol routing capability. The IP Services image offers a broader set of enterprise-class functions, such as sophisticated built-in IP unicast and multicast routing.
Cisco StackWise technology is a mechanism optimized for 1000 Ethernet. This technology is intended to react to additions, deletions, and redeployments while providing consistent performance. StackWise technology combines as many as 9 individual switches into one logical unit, utilizing custom stack-interconnect cables and software. The individual switches can be any mix of the Catalyst 3750 switches and Cisco's Catalyst 3750-E Series. The stack operates as a single switching device that is directed by a master switch, selected from among the stack of switches. The control switch intelligently builds and updates all the switching and user-selected routing databases. A working stack can accommodate new members or delete existing devices with no service discontinuity.
Ways That Progent Can Help You with Catalyst Switches
Progent can provide the remote or onsite services of CCIE-certified network consultants who have extensive backgrounds providing Catalyst switch solutions for small and midsize businesses, branches, campuses, data centers, Cloud networks, and service providers. Progent's skills include Catalyst and Nexus lines of managed switches and with Cisco's IOS and NX-OS control software. Consulting and support services offered by Progent's experts for Cisco Catalyst Series switches include pilot testing, network analysis, network architecture planning, upgrades and project management, network virtualization, wired and wireless convergence, management automation, performance optimization, problem mitigation, business continuity planning, and information security and compliance assessment and remediation.
Progent's Cisco-certified consultants have broad expertise with open standards and with proprietary Cisco technologies related to switching and routing such as BGP, MPLS traffic engineering, PIM, VPNs, Spanning-Tree Protocol, VLANs, Cisco FabricPath, VPC, HSRP, VRRP, Open Shortest Path First (OSPF), Virtual Switching System (VSS), and Locator/ID Separation Protocol (LISP). Progent's network specialists also offer deep knowledge of crucial technologies such as TCP/IP protocols, IPv4, IPv6, Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol, Routing Information Protocol (RIP), and Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP). Progent's CISSP-ISSAP certified information security and compliance consultants can show you how to create a comprehensive security strategy and implement Cisco Catalyst switches so that they offer maximum support for your network security posture.
In case you require the highest available density or extremely low latency switches for a world-class data center, Progent can help your organization to analyze, plan, and carry out a migration to Nexus Series switches. To learn about Progent's support services for Cisco's Nexus switches, see Cisco Nexus Switch consulting and support services available from Progent. Progent can also assist you to connect Catalyst data center switches with Meraki distribution switches. (See Cisco Meraki switch integration consultants.)
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